The second post in this free agency preview will cover the other top UFA in the market, after inquiring about Zach Parise earlier this week.
I mentioned that the Red Wings and Wild are going to be in on a lot of top free agents because of their financial flexibility and dedication to putting a winning product on the ice. What separates the two, however, is that the Red Wings have historically been successful in doing that, while the Wild have, well, not. That is the be all and end all of Detroit’s case for Suter, and it will likely be effective if the bids for his services are the same.
As for the Wild, a case could be made that they have been gearing entirely for this offseason and the prospect of signing Suter. Last offseason, Minnesota traded for Sharks forward Dany Heatley, while giving up perhaps their best player in Brent Burns, an offensive defenseman, in a separate trade with the Sharks. Heatley is a proud former Wisconsin Badger, and has made that very clear while playing in Minnesota. Burns manned the same spot that Suter, a former Badger himself, would patrol: an enabling blueliner. Speaking of Suter connections and Wisconsin, the Wild went out and acquired a former linemate from his college, Tom Gilbert, at the trade deadline. If there is a more comfortable environment for him in the league, I haven’t figured it out yet. As for the Wild, if they cannot add Suter this offseason, they have a lot of explaining to do.
I don’t think the Wild will be signing Suter. I think he will end up with the Red Wings, leaving the Wild with a boat load of cash to throw at players who probably aren’t quite as deserving as Suter, wondering what might have been. We will take a look at some players that may suit the Wild at a later date.
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